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Battlefield 3 New Build

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May 17, 2011 7:28:28 PM

Been with the franchise since day one and have been hooked. Last time I got a new rig was for BF2 6 years ago, since the new game is coming out I def need a completely new setup. Looking to spend about $2500 w/ monitor(s). Used to be on top of things but after looking through some posts realized I've been away for too long to understand what I truly need. Looking for something that will be able to play the game at high to highest settings, plus be relevant for 5-6 years with minimal upgrades (eg HDD, RAM)



Approximate Purchase Date: within a month


Budget Range: 2000+ w/o monitor


System Usage from Most to Least Important: BF3, movies/tv, internet, productivity


Parts Not Required: keyboard-mouse, speakers (5.1 cambridge from 6-7 years ago still working great but all analog - will upgrade if required)


Preferred Website(s) for Parts: none


Country of Origin: US


Parts Preferences: Partial to Intel and Nvidia, (long personal history with no major issues but open to others)


Overclocking: Maybe


SLI or Crossfire: Maybe - planning on a single monitor, anyone have any inklings on if 2-3 monitors will really make this game that much better?


Monitor Resolution: open to suggestions (also depends on single v multiple)


Additional Comments: Don't really care about looks, just performance. Don't need cool sounding things if they're not worth the $$ (SS HDD, liquid cooling)

Hope I'm not too vague. Thanks all in advance.

More about : battlefield build

May 17, 2011 8:07:56 PM

Hopefully this will help get you started. This is a newegg.com shopping cart. I apologize for the format.


select item 1 quantity of item 1
LITE-ON CD/DVD Burner - Bulk Black SATA Model iHAS124-04 - OEM
Item #: N82E16827106289
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
Protect Your Investment (expand for options27-106-289|hide options27-106-289)
Service Net Replacement Extended Warranty Plan
The product will be replaced and shipped directly to you at no charge.(more info27-106-289.0.18)

1 year: $5.99
2 year: $9.99
$19.99
select item 2 quantity of item 2
Antec Three Hundred Illusion Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
Item #: N82E16811129066
Return Policy: Limited Replacement Only Return Policy $69.99
select item 3 quantity of item 3
SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
Item #: N82E16822152185
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
Protect Your Investment (expand for options22-152-185|hide options22-152-185)
Service Net Replacement Extended Warranty
The product will be replaced and shipped directly to you at no charge.(more info22-152-185.0.120)

1 year: $9.99
2 year: $14.99
$64.99
select item 4 quantity of item 4
EVGA 01G-P3-1561-AR GeForce GTX 560 Ti FPB (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support FPB Video ...
Item #: N82E16814130604
Return Policy: VGA Standard Return Policy -$15.00 Instant

$20.00 Mail-in Rebate Card14-130-604 $499.98
$469.98
($234.99 each)
select item 5 quantity of item 5
CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX750 V2 750W ATX12V v2.31/ EPS12V v2.92 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC High Performance Power ...
Item #: N82E16817139021
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy -$35.00 Instant

$15.00 Mail-in Rebate Card17-139-021 $139.99
$104.99
select item 6 quantity of item 6
G.SKILL Sniper Low Voltage Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBSR2
Item #: N82E16820231461
Return Policy: Memory Standard Return Policy $99.99
1 Patriot X-Porter 2GB Flash Drive (USB2.0 Portable) Model PSF2GUSB
Item #: N82E16820241103
Return Policy: Memory Standard Return Policy -$5.99 Saving
$5.99
$0.00
select item 8 quantity of item 8
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit English 1-Pack - OEM
Item #: N82E16832116986
Return Policy: Software Standard Return Policy $99.99
select item 9 quantity of item 9
Scythe SCMG-2100 Sleeve CPU Cooler
Item #: N82E16835185142
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy $39.99
select item 10 quantity of item 10
Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I52500K
Item #: N82E16819115072
Return Policy: CPU Replacement Only Return Policy
Protect Your Investment (expand for options19-115-0721100|hide options19-115-0721100)
Service Net Replacement Extended Warranty
The product will be replaced and shipped directly to you at no charge.(more info19-115-0721.0.120)

1 year: $22.99
2 year: $39.99
GIGABYTE GA-Z68X-UD3-B3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
Item #: N82E16813128500
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
Protect Your Investment (expand for options13-128-5001100|hide options13-128-5001100)
Service Net Replacement Extended Warranty
The product will be replaced and shipped directly to you at no charge.(more info13-128-5001.0.120)

1 year: $14.99
2 year: $24.99
-$15.00 Instant
-$20.00 Combo
$384.98
$349.98
1 Patriot X-Porter 2GB Flash Drive (USB2.0 Portable) Model PSF2GUSB
Item #: N82E16820241103
Return Policy: Memory Standard Return Policy -$5.99 Saving
$5.99
$0.00
Subtotal: $1,319.89
Shipping: $11.62
Remove EMCKEJC29 Discount From Promo Code -$10.00
Remove EMCKEJC23 Discount From Promo Code -$15.00
Grand Total: $1,306.51
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May 18, 2011 10:09:15 PM

thanks for the help @genghiskron.

any thoughts on a monitor(s), or separate sound card? Any special setup for the SLI vid cards?
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Related resources
May 19, 2011 3:13:25 AM

i reccomend to 6950's in cf they will scale much better than 2 560 ti's and get 2 of these monitors- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... . seperate sound cards are not needed
i5 2500k
asrock p67 extreme4
haf 922 case
samsung spinpoint f3 1tb hdd
intel 320 series 80 gb ssd
windows 7 home premium oem
8gb gskill ram
that lite on dvd drive that genghiskron put down
scythe mugen 2 cpu cooler
corsair tx750
that should put you around or just over 2000$
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May 19, 2011 3:38:52 AM

mj makes some great suggestions. The mobo (asrock extreme4) he recommended is tried and true, whereas the one i recommended is newer and unproven. The haf 922 is a roomier case, and i think its probably a better choice considering your large budget.

If you go with the extreme 4 mobo, use this combo instead:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
and enter this promo code EMCKEJG73

dont forget this promo code for the PSU: EMCKEJC29

The PSU and ram+cpu are great deals and great parts, so you might want to jump on them before they expire.

For the 6950's, Id consider these models:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
The sapphire card is a 2gb reference model which can be flashed with 6970 bios or partially unlocked for better performance. If this is something you are interested in, you should google 6950 unlock, but keep in mind that it carries with it some risk of breaking the card, although many many people have had success with it (and you could probably RMA the card if it breaks and just say it came that way).

Personally i think the OC'd IceQ card is a fantastic deal, and no one wants em because of the seafoam color.
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May 19, 2011 3:42:19 AM

ya the 6950 in cf are awesome as is you dont need to unlock them to 6970's and it is kind of risky even with the bios reset button.
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May 19, 2011 3:57:34 PM

Thanks guys. The video card brands you suggested are limited quantity (meaning 1) or out of stock. Any other recommendations? Are the 69xx's better than the 5xx Nvidia's (CF and SLI respectively)? CF/SLI on lower models gets better performance than single (more expensive) top end units i assume? (like i said been out of the game for a while - SLI had just started when i got my current vid card 6800GT so i stayed away) Can't find any comparo's between single v dual

Just going to recycle my sony cd/dvd drive and probably get an add on bluray read drive to watch movies.

Any thoughts on the protection plans offered by newegg? Not much experience with their customer service. Would think most of these items would have manufacturer warranties. Does newegg cover bad install/user error?

@mjmjpfaff - I think I'll hold off on the SSD HDD until prices come down. Good idea though for fast load times (less waiting more gaming). Did you have a typo in the CPU cooler? See on the list below to the one i found.

@ghengiskron - Don't really want to tinker with unlocking/hacking components. I burned out too many a video card (though it was probably poor cooling) and don't want to worry about that on this build.

This is what's in my cart... I'm seriously amped about this. All that i need to add is the vid cards (sitting at around $1200 after rebates final should be <2000) Thanks!!

- COOLER MASTER HAF 922 RC-922M-KKN1-GP Black Steel + Plastic and Mesh Bezel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
- SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
- 2x Asus VE228H 21.5" Full HD HDMI LED BackLight LCD Monitor w/Speakers
- CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX750 V2 750W ATX12V v2.31/ EPS12V v2.92 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC High Performance Power
- Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium Upgrade
- Scythe SCMG-2100 Sleeve CPU Cooler
- Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I52500K
- G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBRL
- ASRock P67 EXTREME4 (B3) LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
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May 19, 2011 5:57:41 PM

from what i understand, the newegg protection plans activate AFTER the manufacturer warranty is over. in general, unless there are really obvious signs of user error, theres simply no way they can prove that a bad device is your fault, and they will replace it. you will generally have to pay return shipping. this isnt really such a bad deal though (even though some people make it out to be) because you get free shipping to begin with. newegg has eggcellent customer service.

personally, id go with a single 24" monitor for gaming, although the 22" is plenty large. a second monitor is great for doing actual work and such though. i think eyefinity is a silly gimmick feature, although a 3 monitor setup might be pretty cool for a racing/flying game. for an fps like bf3, youre going to want to be focused on a single screen so you can watch me shoot you in the face. :)  If ive made you uncertain, just head down to best buy and check out the monitor sizes for yourself.

as for the 6950, many people on this forum seem to conclude that the 2gb is a better choice. Current games do not need 2gb of vram at 1080p. However, if you want to game across multiple monitors, you will see some benefit from the 2gb. In addition, it is likely that future games will continue to require more and more vram, so 2gb might soon become the new 1gb (and you want longevity from this build).

As for particular brands, all i can give you is a personal opinion because I dont have experience with the cards. I think the cheapest 2gb model is perfectly fine, and its the one i would buy:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

but since you want this thing to run for 5-6 years (which is a long long time in the computer world), i guess i should recommend the lifetime xfx warranty:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

im the kind of person whos willing to take a chance on the cheapest card as long as it doesnt have several bad reviews regarding the same problem. as far as im concerned, all these cards are built to more or less the same spec by equally careless workers in some foreign country.

HOWEVER, seeing as you have an ample budget, the msi twin frozr is an excellent and very popular graphics cooling system, so you should consider it as well:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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May 19, 2011 7:44:50 PM

I think I'll skip the add on warranties then. Just seems like a waste if they're already covered by the OEM. Though dealing with OEM CS may not be as easy, worst case I'll replace it.

I know all about monitors and sizes - used to work for panasonic. I was more concerned with multiple screen setups. You're right though a sinlge large screen will probbaly give me a better view when you attempt to frag me and i knife you. I'll go with the dual 2gbs. As BF has done in the past i'm sure there will be follow on games pumped out in the next year with the new game engine. Those usually have higher reqt's than the original, better to have it now then try to add it down the road when you can't get them. Also found this deal...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I think I may just go with a 32" Panasonic LCD or LED and use it as my new TV in the bedroom as well. Will have to get a swivel/extend wall mount to use it both ways though. Have a 24" TV in there now, doesn't make too much sense to have more screen for my games, since the TV is only 10 ft form my desk/CPU. Then I can put the old TV in the bathroom so i can relax more while I'm "doing work."

So i think this is the final setup...

- COOLER MASTER HAF 922 RC-922M-KKN1-GP Black Steel + Plastic and Mesh Bezel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
- Western Digital Caviar Blue WD5000AAKX 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
- CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX750 V2 750W ATX12V v2.31/ EPS12V v2.92 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC High Performance Power
- Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium Upgrade
- Scythe SCMG-2100 Sleeve CPU Cooler
- Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I52500K
- G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBRL
- ASRock P67 EXTREME4 (B3) LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
- 2x XFX HD-695X-CNFC Radeon HD 6950 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity

Thank you both for all your help. Hopefully the build goes smoothly
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May 19, 2011 8:01:31 PM

id stick with the samsung spinpoint. if you want it cheaper grab it on amazon. its a faster, quieter, reliable drive, not to mention the larger capacity, and its really not that much more expensive. You wont get any benefit from the 6gb/s interface because HDD's arent limited by the 3gb/s interface because they cant spin fast enough as is. on the other hand, i happen to own that caviar blue and ive had zero problems with it.

Minor detail, great build and good luck! Seach google/ youtube for how to install the scythe mugen aka SCMG-2100. Its only hard to install if you go into it blind. Youre going to want to install it before you put the mobo in the case, and after youve installed the ram.
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May 19, 2011 9:28:26 PM

I have been following this thread myself as I am looking into a new system for BF3, and future games as well. I have had a tried and true Asus laptop that has powered through most games, tho I must play most new ones on lower/medium settings now a days.

This thread has had tons of good info on it that helped me make up my mind in choices. I have a few slight differences in my build idea but overall it is nearly identical and should be a great result. I would have liked to go ASUS graphics cards, but they like so many others seem to be a slight bit overkill with monitor hookups, making the card a bit oversized. I also chose to take the 2GB ram on the card, hopefully it will last more than 3 years. I know memory is usually the worst type of bottle neck so I plan to completely avoid it :) 

Also the power supply I think 850W is a bit safer on the power requirement bit. It will also allow for future upgrades in video cards as some begin to take more power. The main reason is I believe under full load the 750W ceiling could be near the max of the PSU, and I would wish to avoid this but correct me if I am wrong.

Here is the build I'm planning on currently @ 1633 on Newegg...

Processor: Intel i5-2500K
Graphics: XFX Radeon HD 6950 2GB x2 (Crossfire)
Mother board: Asus P8p67 Deluxe (Rev 3)
Ram: Gskill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2x4GB)
Power Supply: Corsair TX CMPSU-850HX (750 could be close to system's limit)
Case: Antec Three Hundred ATX Mid Tower
Storage: Segate Barracuda 7200 1TB, SATA 3gb (raid 0)
Storage: Segate Barracuda 7200 1TB, SATA 3gb
Disk Drive: ASUS DRW-24B1ST (simple dvd burner, no need for Blue Ray)
Stereo system: Logitech X-540 5.1 (time to upgrade from headphones!)
Cooling Sys: Cooler Master Hyper 212
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May 19, 2011 10:40:59 PM

the asus deluxe is a waste of money still go with asrock. 2 samsung spinpoints in raid 0 are a good idea since you dont have a ssd. the tx750 is really efficient you wont need 850 750 is enough. you wont be able to put the os on the ssd if you upgrade later and thats what most people get an ssd for!
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May 19, 2011 11:11:37 PM

I would wait till the game is about to be released before making a system around it, for two reasons.

Reason 1 is that the system requirements and benchmarks for the game will be available, so you will better know which components are well suited (eg: whether the game favours ATI or nvidia, how many cores it uses, etc.)

Reason 2 is that by then new hardware will have been released, inlcuding possibly 28 nm cards from nvidia and ATI. You dont want the system that you built specefically for BF3 to be outdated before you can even play BF3.

Also I would recommend the hyperthreaded i7-2600k considering your budget. The reason for that is that BF3 is likely to utilize 8 threads or more. (BC2 utilizes up to 8 threads with the latest patch). Also since you hold onto your rig for a long time, the 2600k will be more future proof. Currently most games use 4 threads at most, but over the next 5 years you can expect the trend in video games will be to utilize more threads. The popularity of the 2500k is based on the fact that most current games dont use more than 4 cores, but that is likely to change in the future. OF course you can always upgrade your cpu later.
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May 20, 2011 4:32:20 PM

Understood @overclocked toaster. The game demo clip shown was displayed on a single 580 if all the reports are true. So a dual 6950 2gb setup should be more than adequate to play with at least those settings (which look fantastic). The only piece that has me a little cautioned is the new frostbite engine that they're touting. there's no comparo to view for this and there won't be until the game comes out and testers can get their hands on it (ala toms). Current BFBC2 DX11 comparos show the CF 6950s rival the 580 SLI in performance but cost less see the link. This is probably the most relevant comparo
http://www.guru3d.com/article/vga-charts-spring-2011/9
less than 15% performance hit for half the price. I know i want future proof but you can't ignore that differential. That's just being an informed consumer.

I think I may heed your advice on the i7 processor. For less than $100 i can upgrade to it and have a little more time/performance, should games start utilizing more threads (which includes bf3, since that is still unknown). I was looking to spend around $2K with monitor(s) included and I'm right about there (still need to get some software too since im going from a 32 to 64 setup). I know its not an optimum system but it's going to meet my performance and budget goals.

I'd also like to get the system soon/now so I can tweak it on BF2/BC2 (plus make 1942 look outright ridiculous) and make sure I'm good to go for the game release. I know prices for the same system will likely come down in the coming months but I can't imagine it would be more than 10-15% total system cost. I'm willing to let that go to have a fully operational setup at release.

Thanks again all for your help/input. Really makes me feel at ease knowing my rig will be stout for a few years. Also my BF names are capgunkidd or Baker. depending on which platform and who i'm playing with. So if i kill you, it's your own fault. haha.

I'll post an update when it's all assembled if anyone's interested.
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May 21, 2011 1:46:48 AM

definitely a possibility to have seen me, though i haven't been on recently (might be one of those wannabes). usually am the pilot of a blackhawk while my buddies waste everyone on the mini guns. will def be on all summer getting "in shape".

I order the parts. I decided on a 32" panasonic for my monitor (get a discount as a former employee). @genghiskron FYI there's also a $20 off code for those monitors you suggested. I know i won't get as high of a resolution as i could with a "monitor" but it'll be high enough 19x12. didn't want to go with 3 monitors so i went with one big one since fps's are my first love. decided on the spinpoint and the i7 2600k for the final setup. all in all came to 1800+ under budget and (likely) on performance.

Thanks again all.
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